The 9 Best Fitness Trackers of 2021, According to Trainers

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Fitbit Versa 2
Apple Watch Series 6
Polar Ignite
WHOOP 3.0
Suunto 3
Garmin Venu
Garmin vívomove 3S
Oura Ring
Fitbit Luxe
Here, we break down the best fitness trackers by battery life, heart-rate monitoring, GPS, sleep stats, water resistance and more.

Want to log your running routes? Track swim laps? Or get reminders to stand up from your desk and move? You obviously need a fitness tracker. The question is just, ​which one​?

To help you wade through all of the options out there, we rounded up some of the best-reviewed options, talked to trainers and IDed the best fitness trackers for every style and workout.

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Exercise is even more effective when paired with a healthy diet. Download the MyPlate app to track your calories consumed and burned for a complete picture of your overall health.

1. Fitbit Versa 2

  • Battery Life:​ 6 days
  • GPS:​ yes
  • HR Monitoring:​ yes
  • Sleep Tracking: ​yes
  • Water Resistant:​ yes

Can't live without Amazon Alexa? This smart watch has Alexa built in, so you can ask it to tell you the weather, read a text message during your runs or call your workout buddy.

"My Fitbit Versa 2 has transformed the way that I approach my health, and the way that I approach the health of my clients in my practice," says Harley Pasternak, CPT, a celebrity trainer and nutritionist in Los Angeles.

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"It also offers a fantastic support network by creating your own Fitbit community, which allows for healthy competition and mutual motivation," he says. "And of course, the sleep analysis is everything. Not only does it tell you how much you've slept, but it lets you know how well you've slept, too!"

There's also the option to upgrade to Fitbit Premium for more personalized feedback and customized health and fitness guidance ($10 per month or $80 per year).

Buy it:Fitbit.com; ​Price:​ $179.95

2. Apple Watch Series 6

  • Battery Life:​ 18 hours
  • GPS:​ yes
  • HR Monitoring:​ yes
  • Sleep Tracking:​ no
  • Water Resistant:​ yes

If you have a previous version of the Apple Watch (and even if you don't) chances are you'll appreciate that the new Series 6 has an always-on Retina display, so you don't have to fidget with the positioning of your wrist in order to see the time.

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"I love the heart rate monitor built into the wrist — I used to have to wear a chest band with my old watch brand — and I find that the metrics are quite precise and accurate," says Luke Lombardo, a certified running coach and owner of LPL Fitness in Los Angeles.

The device also has new features like the "noise" app, which can detect the ambient noise around you and let you know when it could be harmful to your ears so you can take action to protect them. And for those who menstruate, there's a cycle-tracking app. Plus, it has a sensor for blood oxygen level, which is a key indicator of overall wellness.

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Buy it:Apple.com; ​Price:​ from $399

3. Polar Ignite

  • Battery Life:​ 17 hours
  • GPS:​ yes
  • HR Monitoring​: yes
  • Sleep Tracking:​ yes
  • Water Resistant:​ yes

You don't have to worry about swimming, sweating up a storm or accidentally jumping in the shower while wearing this waterproof fitness watch. And with built-in GPS, you can track your running routes. It's also perfect for tracking your calories burned during a CrossFit WOD or dance class, but it also tracks heart rate and breathing rate during daily activities.

"The heart rate variability and breathing rate have been very helpful for me, because I struggle with anxiety and often overtrain, so it's comforting and convincing to see real data backing up the progress my body has made, where it's at now and how I should treat it," says Cambria Smith, CPT, a certified personal trainer and international master trainer for Les Mills.

Plus, the Nightly Recharge feature gives you a sleep heatlth score based on sleep metrics (like time in bed as well as deep and REM sleep) and combines that with daily recovery information, so you know when you're fully recovered from a hard workout.

Buy it:Polar.com; ​Price:​ $229.95

4. WHOOP 3.0

  • Battery Life:​ 5 days
  • GPS:​ no
  • HR Monitoring: ​yes
  • Sleep Tracking:​ no
  • Water Resistant: ​yes

If you want to a detailed analysis of your workout performance, progress and workout recovery, consider WHOOP. Sign up for a membership (billed monthly, yearly or for 18 months), and the band is included.

"If you're someone who likes to see how your heart changes during interval workouts, this band is perfect for you," says Joe Holder, a certified track and field coach and Nike+ Run Club coach.

While the band has no display, it connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, where you can see all the data it records, including your daily strain coach, which provides a recommended amount of strain based on your fitness level and recovery; your sleep metrics and information on your recovery.

Buy it:Join.WHOOP.com; ​Price:​ $30 per month, $288 per year or $324 per 18 months (band included)

5. Suunto 3

  • Battery Life: ​5 days
  • GPS: ​yes
  • HR Monitoring:​ yes
  • Sleep Tracking:​ yes
  • Water Resistant:​ yes

Not only does this smart watch track your heart rate and VO2 max (a measure of your fitness level), but it also creates and suggests training plans. It also can change them if it senses you went too hard on a workout or didn't fully recover.

"The training features are amazing," says Lindsey Clayton, a certified run coach and instructor at Barry's in New York City.

"The Suunto app allows you to create specific running routes on your phone that sync to your watch so that it can then navigate you through the run and will tell you if you're off the route you planned. And the post-run data is amazing — pace, time, cadence, EPOC [excess post-exercise oxygen consumption], recovery time, heart rate, altitude, ascent, decent, you name it!"

Buy it:Amazon.com; ​Price:​ $179

6. Garmin Venu

  • Battery Life:​ 5 days
  • GPS: ​yes
  • HR Monitoring:​ yes
  • Sleep Tracking: ​yes
  • Water Resistant: ​yes

With up to five days of battery life, this smart watch is perfect for everyday use or on a long adventure weekend. It tracks your breathing, both throughout the day and at night. Get info on your light, deep and REM sleep times as well as respiration data, which is important, since breathing disturbances are more easily identified when you're asleep.

"My Garmin is hands down my favorite gadget that I use every day," says Matthew Meyer, CPT, a certified personal trainer and coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City. "It's such a key tool for maintaining distance and intensity in workouts, not to mention, it has the all-day heart-rate monitoring, caloric expenditure and sleep tracking, too."

It also has a lot of golf tracking features, too, like shot distance and yardage from the hole.

Buy it:Garmin.com; ​Price:​ $349.99

7. Garmin vívomove 3S

  • Battery Life:​ 5 days
  • GPS:​ yes
  • HR Monitoring: ​yes
  • Sleep Tracking: ​yes
  • Water Resistant: ​yes

Yes, a second Garmin fitness watch makes the list. The brand just does that great of a job of making top-of-the-line gadgets.

The best part about this one? It's sleek and stylish and has a hidden touchscreen display, where you can view all your stats. Translation: It allows you to get all the data you're looking for, without losing the look of a classic timepiece.

"It's the perfect tracker to transition from workout to going out, without having to change your watch," says Noam Tamir, CSCS, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and owner of TS Fitness in New York City. "You can use it to track your hydration, too."

You can wear it to a work party or on date night and not have it clash with your outfit, while tracking your steps, stress and energy levels. It's can also deliver notifications for text messages or emails, and it's compatible with Garmin Pay.

Buy it:Garmin.com; ​Price:​ from $199.99

8. Oura Ring

  • Battery Life:​ 7 days
  • GPS:​ no
  • HR Monitoring:​ yes
  • Sleep Tracking:​ yes
  • Water Resistant: ​yes

This water-resistant, light-weight titanium ring detects your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature and calorie burn, all through the pulse in your finger via multiple sensors.

"The ring idea is something that makes wearing the tracker appealing to those that feel something around the wrist is too bulky or uncomfortable," says Tamir.

Connect it via Bluetooth with the app to look at daily insights such as recovery, activity and sleep. The ring also has a "moment feature," to remind you to take a few seconds to be mindful and practice some breath work. One charge takes 20 to 80 minutes and yields a week's worth of battery.

Buy it:OuraRing.com; ​Price: ​$299

9. Fitbit Luxe

  • Battery Life: ​5 days
  • GPS:​ yes
  • HR Monitoring:​ yes
  • Sleep Tracking: ​yes
  • Water Resistant: ​yes

Meet the newest offering from Fitbit. This watch isn't only stylish, it also tracks your sleep, stress levels, fitness and activity (and it's waterproof for swimming), your menstrual cycle (if you have one and choose to), breathing rate and more.

"Fitbits are great because they range in price and style, so you're definitely able to find one you like, and usually you can customize things like the band color and design, too," Tamir says.

All data are available on the watch and sync automatically to the Fitbit app, which displays all your stats in a reader-friendly way. You can choose to receive texts, emails and phone calls (or not!), as well as set silent alarms that wake you up via vibrations on your wrist when you're in your lightest sleep. Bonus: It has a five-day battery life!

Buy it​: Fitbit.com; ​Price​: $149.95

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4 Things to Consider When Shopping for Your Best Fitness Watch or Activity Tracker

1. Stats

While most trackers can sense general physical activity and log minutes and calorie burn, if you want to get the most out of your device, it's important to make sure that the device is able to track the specific activity or activities you like to do.

For example, if you're a runner, you might be interested in a product that can also track elevation gain and calculate VO2 max. "If you're a swimmer, you'd definitely want something that is waterproof like the Apple Watch," Tamir says.

2. Phone Compatibility

Whether your phone is iOS or Android, you want to be sure it's compatible with the device and its accompanying app. This will allow you to access the most the device has to offer and allow you to sync your stats so you can view your progress over time.

3. Size and Fit

If you have a tiny wrist, you might not need or want anything with a huge face, and if you have a larger wrist, a small band might not fit.

"Be sure to check out the sizing guides that a lot of fitness tracker brands provide when purchasing to ensure you get something that fits you well," Tamir says. "If you're small and have good eye sight, the smaller, the better might work well for you. But if you have a larger wrist and maybe want to be sure you can see stats as you're on your run or bike ride, you want a big enough face that you won't struggle to see your speed or overall time."

You also don't want anything that can get in the way of your movement, Tamir says. That's why for fitness tracking, plastic and flexible or moldable bands work best, versus leather or metal.

4. Price

Are you going to be using your activity tracker watch once in a while, or do you see yourself wearing it day in and day out to track every little thing?

"If you are just using this for leisure exercise, once in a while, you can probably get away with a lower price point tracker," Tamir says. More expensive devices are best for people who are competitive or really into data.

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